A Norfolk council is to take action over the site of a former Victorian hotel that has been a blight on a seaside town for more than a decade.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) is to issue a compulsory purchase order and buy the Shannocks Hotel plot on Sheringham's promenade, bringing a 14-year saga to an end.

It is hoped the site, which has been left as rubble after the building was demolished in 2021, will be revitalised in the future although there is a risk that the cash-strapped council will lose money in the transaction.

Members agreed to the compulsory purchase - a legal tool that allows councils to acquire land or property - at a cabinet meeting this week.

Eastern Daily Press: Liz Withington, Sheringham district councillor Liz Withington, Sheringham district councillor (Image: Newsquest)

Liz Withington, Sheringham district councillor, praised the decision and said it will be "very much appreciated by the Sheringham community".

"It has been a difficult and long process but it is a critical thing to do," she added.

Shannocks Hotel has been described as a "blight" on the Sheringham Conservation Area for several years.

READ MORE: Council under pressure over derelict Fakenham site

Eastern Daily Press: Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District CouncilTim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council (Image: Newsquest)

Council leader Tim Adams said the authority had explored "every avenue" and that issuing the CPO was a "last resort".

It is likely NNDC will seek to sell the site to recoup the cost of purchasing the plot but officers have warned it is likely it will not be able to recover all of the money invested. 

Eastern Daily Press: Barriers placed around the site in SheringhamBarriers placed around the site in Sheringham (Image: Google)

Details of how much the site will cost have not been revealed, with these discussions held in private at the meeting.

While the move is an important step towards revitalising the area, it comes at a difficult time for the council, which is expected to face a £980,000 blackhole in its finances due to increased costs this year.

Following the decision, a spokesman for Huddies has said: "NNDC's interest in Huddies' property is a fig leaf for the council's longstanding desire to develop the adjacent Chequers Car Park.

"Huddies remains committed to its plans to redevelop its property without the loss of a vital public amenity and Huddies has written to the council seeking clarification as to the next steps."

Eastern Daily Press: Shannocks Hotel before it was demolishedShannocks Hotel before it was demolished (Image: Newsquest)


The 14-year saga between NNDC and the owners of the Shannocks Hotel is one of false starts and promises that failed to come to fruition.

It was once a grand hotel located in a prime spot in the seaside town and had been frequented by thousands of visitors for more than a century.

But it had become a derelict eyesore by 2010.

Owner of the site, Huddies, faced the threat of court action in 2015 after the company had failed to maintain the building.

But following this challenge, the developers applied to revamp the site and turn it into shops and flats, which was approved in 2017. 

However, years of inaction led NNDC to consider forcing a CPO in January 2020.

This had the effect of encouraging Huddies to begin work on the development, which led to a wrecking ball being brought in to demolish the building in 2021.

Eastern Daily Press: The demolition of the former Shannocks hotel site in Sheringham in May 2021The demolition of the former Shannocks hotel site in Sheringham in May 2021 (Image: Chris Taylor Photo)

Four months after the hotel was bulldozed, the site remained a barren wasteland of rubble, until NNDC put pressure on the developers to put hoarding up to hide the site from view.

The promise of redevelopment later stalled, with the developers blaming rising costs and building material and labour shortages.

Three years later, no work had been carried out and hopes that the site would be transformed looked unlikely to come to fruition.

This resulted in NNDC agreeing this week to take the final step and complete the CPO.